Zoom has announced the first beneficiaries of its $100 million investment programme: Zoom Apps Fund.
The programme was launched earlier this year to help stimulate growth on the platform by integrating new tools or features by other startups.
The first startups who will receive between $250,000 – $2.5 million are Warmly, a tool that provides info about meeting participants; Fathom, which simplifies transcription; and Pledge, a tool that helps organizations or individuals collect in-app donations.
In today’s edition:
EZE Wholesale is helping Africans navigate the second-hand smartphone market
Ridelink’s East African journey just got fueled
eHealth Africa wins second place at Wiki Loves Africa photo contest
EZE WHOLESALE IS HELPING AFRICANS NAVIGATE THE SECOND-HAND SMARTPHONE MARKET
Africa has a fast-growing smartphone market. Although smartphone penetration is still low, there are at least 447 million smartphone users on the continent. But phones can be pricey and the poor economic conditions in many countries means that most people who want to buy smartphones will have to turn to the second-hand or used phones markets.
Look, I have a fear of getting second-hand gadgets; it almost never works out for me. I can bet you that if ten of us bought second-hand iPhones today, only mine will pack up after a month.
Like me, other Africans harbour a mistrust of second-hand products. This mistrust is one of the first challenges Josh Nzewi and David Iya faced when they launched EZE Wholesale, a B2B commodity exchange for used smartphones.
What is EZE doing?
EZE Wholesale launched in 2020 as a platform where traders of second-hand smartphones in Africa could buy and sell used smartphones.
For buyers, EZE also has a solution. When they want to buy a phone, the company receives their payment into an escrow account, collects and inspects the phone on their behalf, and delivers it after the specs have been verified. In the event of an oversight, buyers get 30-day warranties.
Why this is important
Building trust in the market is an ongoing conversation. There are a lot of funny stories of people who bought second-hand Samsung phones only to turn them on and find Nokia logos on the screens.
There are also other problems in the smartphone market. Inconsistent pricing, poor distribution channels, and logistics are some of the challenges EZE Wholesale wants to innovate around.
What’s the contest about? Of all the millions of articles on Wikipedia, those related to or about Africa have the least coverage. Most wiki pages on African topics, cultures, lifestyles or histories are scanty; some don’t even have featured images.
Now we all know that Wikipedia isn’t the most reliable when it comes to information, but it’s still a resource centre for a lot of people.
The Wiki Loves Africa contest wants to help increase coverage of Africa by encouraging anyone across the continent to contribute media (pictures, videos, and audio) that showcase Africa’s richness, diversity, and culture.
The annual contest was launched in 2014, and each contest is themed around “universal, visually-rich and culturally-specific topics.”
The theme for 2021 was Health + Wellness.
What’s in it for contestants?
Cash prizes. 🤑
There are two categories for prize giving: international prizes between countries, and national prizes.
For international winners, the first prize is $1000, the second is $800 while the third is $500.
While this may not be a lot of money to organizations, it definitely could make a difference in the lives of individual contestants.
Who are this years’ winners?
In first place is Crazy Love by Ewien van Bergeijk – Kwant
Nigeria’s eHealth Africa, with a photo taken by Ozavogu Abdulsalam Khalid under contract to them, won 2nd place for Malaria microscopy training.
In third place is Pupil (Ghana) by Amuzujoe.
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What else we’re reading
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